1.1.F.230 Full-time study (YA, Austudy, PES)

Definition

For the purposes of YA, Austudy, and PES, undertaking full-time study is defined as at least 75% of the normal amount of full-time study for tertiary students.

The normal amount of full-time study for a course is:

  • if the course is a course of study within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - the equivalent for the period of the full-time study-load for that period as determined by the institution in accordance with the Administration Guidelines under that Act,
  • if the course is not such a course and the institution defines an amount of full-time study that a full-time student should typically undertake in respect of the course in the period - the amount so defined, or
  • if the institution does not define an amount of full-time study that a full-time student should typically undertake in respect of the course - an amount equivalent to the average amount of full-time study that a person would have to undertake in the period for the duration of the course in order to complete the course in the minimum amount of time needed to complete it, or
  • if none of the above situations apply, a minimum of 20 contact hours per week.

Non-class work is not included in measuring study undertaken. However, formal, regular consultation with supervisors can be included in the measure of study undertaken if it is a normal requirement of the course and has a study-load weighting attached to it by the education institution.

Where a course has some form of practical training off campus, if the educational institution gives this component an equivalent full-time study leave weighting, the hours are to be counted in the calculation of study-load. If the institution allocates a different weighting system to the practical placement (such as points, credits or units) then the study-load can be measured against the method meaning that the practical placement will count towards the study-load. If the practical placement is given no weighting at all by the institution, then it cannot contribute towards the study-load.

Students who travel overseas to undertake a work placement will remain eligible for payment so long as they were undertaking full-time study immediately prior to travelling overseas and their work placement forms part of their full-time Australian course, regardless of whether a credit weighting is given to the placement.

Assessment of the normal amount of full-time study in a particular study period will depend upon the circumstances of each case and will depend on matters such as how the course is structured and how enrolments are accepted. The length of a study period may differ from case to case, but it is not necessarily limited to a single semester/trimester. A student undertaking study on a trimester or semester basis may be considered to be a full-time student when:

  • the university's normal period of enrolment is a year or equivalent period (whether the units being undertaken are trimester or semester based or annual) and the student maintains an aggregate equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL) of 75% of a normal amount of full-time study for their course over the year, or
  • the student is enrolled on a trimester or semester basis rather than a full year enrolment and the student maintains an aggregate EFTSL of at least 75% of a normal amount of full-time study for their course over the trimester or semester.

Advanced standing/recognition of prior study

Students must be undertaking full-time study in the current study period or must intend to undertake full-time study in the next study period in order to be assessed as a full-time student for the purposes of Austudy, YA or PES.

Students who have previously completed units which have been recognised by their institution as counting towards their current course of study and have been granted 'advanced standing' for those subjects CANNOT count these units as part of their full time study-load for Austudy, YA or PES purposes as this is not study that they are currently undertaking or that they intend to undertake in the next study period in which they intend to enrol.

Note: Recipients not undertaking a full-time study-load may qualify for YA, Austudy or PES as a concessional student.

Act reference: SSAct section 541B Undertaking full-time study, section 569C Full-time students, section 569E Normal amount of full-time study, section 1061PF Normal amount of full-time study, section 1061PF(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the normal amount of full-time study…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.7.100 YA Full-time Students Satisfactory Progress, 3.3.4.20 Austudy & Full-time Tertiary Students, 3.8.3.20 PES qualifying study for tertiary students

Secondary students

The following table describes the ONLY circumstances where a secondary student is regarded as undertaking full-time study.

If the student… Then they must…
is studying at a secondary school, be undertaking full-time study, OR undertaking a concessional study-load (1.1.C.290).
is studying at an institution other than a secondary school, OR by correspondence/distance education, be enrolled in and undertaking at least 75% of the normal full-time study-load for their course, OR undertaking a concessional study-load, regardless of the type of study.
was enrolled in a course of education, satisfy the Secretary that he or she intends, and has always intended, to re-enrol in that same course, or enrol in another course of education (at the same or different educational institution) when enrolments are next accepted.

Full-time study is a set amount of work that is accepted by the school as being full-time for the relevant period.

Act reference: SSAct section 541B Undertaking full-time study

Concessional study-load

Some students who are not undertaking a full-time study-load may meet the concessional study-load requirements and may therefore be eligible for YA, Austudy or PES.

Act reference: SSAct section 541B(1A) When two-thirds study-load applies, section 569D Concessional study-load students, section 1061PE Concessional study-load students

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.C.290 Concessional study-load student (Austudy, PES, YA), 3.3.4.30 Austudy & Concessional Study-load Students, 3.8.3.40 PES Concessional Study-load Students

Last reviewed: 4 January 2016